A Beach A Day, Keeps The Doctor Away

Sometimes a day at the beach is just what the doctor ordered. Seriously. Multiple studies in both the US and Europe have linked exposure to sunshine to lessen your chance of developing IBD. For those already with IBD, exposure to sunshine can help relieve your symptoms. Study #1 Study #2

Eagle Beach, Aruba. Enjoying some unbelievable beaches and waverunning!

With that in mind, I had the pleasure of spending last week in the Caribbean aboard the beautiful Carnival Vista visiting Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Aruba. Long days loaded with sand and the sun is exactly what the doctor ordered for me! It’s surprising to notice multiple health benefits ranging from not noticing my arthritic ankles to enjoying more energy.

Carnival Vista docked next Holland America Eurodam in Grand Turk

The combination of the stress free week, thanks to the wonderful crew and staff of the Carnival Vista, and plenty of sunshine in the warm Southern Caribbean is exactly what my body needed during a very cold and snowy winter in Utah. If you read the studies linked above, you should now know that sunshine is the best form of Vitamin D, and if you are lacking Vitamin D it can cause IBD or make your symptoms worse if you already have it.

South Beach, Miami Beach

Always talk to your doctor about the best way you can increase your Vitamin D levels and make sure your skin is protected! It’s very, very important to remember to always protect your body while enjoying the sunshine. Make sure to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing. Skin damage just isn’t worth it!

If you’re feeling the winter blues and need an escape, a sunny vacation may be just what you need! Let me know your favorite vacations to catch some sunshine!

Author: Dylan B Nelson

After being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, Avascular Necrosis, Enteropathic Arthritis, and an Atrial Septal Defect, Dylan like so many other people with chronic conditions struggled to manage his health. Being frustrated with the current solutions, Dylan helped create mediswarm.com, a social health network where it's easy to meet other people with the same conditions. Users can ask questions and get real answers, see top solutions for their conditions, and get support from a community of people just like them. Dylan's ultimate goal for MEDI+SWARM is that it can become a resource for individuals who have chronic health conditions to get the help they need and to help improve their overall health outcomes.

20 thoughts on “A Beach A Day, Keeps The Doctor Away”

  1. Glad you were able to get away and enjoy some relaxation. You may have noticed 1 or 2 or 2000 people over indulging on the ship. I’m certain you were smart in your choices and quantity.

    You are absolutely correct about Vitamin D as well. During the winter, people are more prone to suffer Vitamin D deficiencies due to less sun exposure. Since these are fat soluble vitamins (which means excessive intake can cause toxicities) one should have a blood profile to maintain adequate levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I had to laugh about your comment. I try very hard not to make assumptions or judge people, but it’s very hard on a cruise ship when you see hundreds and hundreds of people over eating and drinking. ‘Over indulging’ is putting it mildly. It’s okay to have a treat every now and then especially on vacation, but it’s easy to find people who eat non stop on cruises–a little moderation goes a long ways! Great point about having blood work done to make sure Vitamin D levels are in check. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hope you enjoyed your vacation.
        Here’s an interesting thought:
        Take away the food on a cruise ship and ask the consumer what percentage this would reduce their level of enjoyment.

        One must ask, “is life so limited on experiences and adventures that food becomes an ESSENTIAL experience to enjoy life?”

        This potential thinking shows just how out of BALANCE many lives are!


  2. Day after day I’ve only seen grey skies this winter in NE Ohio. As someone who is rarely sick I am amazed how ill I’ve been since we’ve moved here. And as a nutritionist I certainly know how to combat depression and eat nutrients to avoid sickness.

    A side note: I remember for years trying to convince my husband to go on a cruise with me. “I’ll be so bored,” he whined. Finally we did for our 25th anniversary. He enjoyed it so much we booked two more that same year! Well after 15 of them, cruises are the best stress-free vacation possible. There’s no “Where do YOU want to eat” or “Where do you want go today?” You can do anything you want or nothing at all. Paradise. (The only other place to do that will be heaven.) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m the same way–I love living in Utah but the dreary winter months really wear on me. I definitely need more sunshine and warm weather in my life year round. Utah is actually one of the worst states for SAD.

      Haha, that is too funny about your husband! I’m glad to hear that you guys are now cruisers for life. You try one and you get hooked for life! It’s nice being spoiled for a week and not having a care in the world! PS: I think we’re both a little too young for heaven haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Dylan, thanks for the compliment about age. I’ll never feel old hopefully but wouldn’t want to go back to being twenty for anything!

        I love Utah, been all through there in our travels – almost moved to the St. George area. Played a fabulous golf course in Hurricane. So much diversity, it’s one of my favorite states. I’m very surprised at that statistic regarding SAD. Blessings back,

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha! Just came home from my yearly Vitamin D run. I never thought of it as helping my Crohn’s disease but more of a happy pill so I can make it through the rest of the winter. Bonus! Good stuff! Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As half our team has suffered a systemic disease for 48 years [RA], I know how tired one gets of well-meaning suggestions. But you did note your stress-free week. That may have been as important as the sun. Stress-reducing techiques help us all. I hope sharing your experiences in this blog also helps, and they find a solution to your problems sooner than expected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Ralie! I’d definitely agree that the stress-free is just as important as the sunshine. Stress is absolutely horrible for our bodies and to have a week with relatively none is a great relief. I hope you are doing well, and I can’t wait to read more of your blog! Keep being awesome! 🙂


  5. Ah, no wonder we enjoy the great outdoors so much! Mostly when it’s sunny out, but we’ll take cloudy days, too.
    We’re not foodies and laughed at people who took cruises and raved about the food. But then we had an opportunity for a family reunion cruise. The first 2 days, we all wondered why people raved about the food. We missed the memo about the dining rooms! We were in the buffet areas and decided we’d not overdo it since we didn’t like much. Then we had the dining room experience. WOW! It was fantastic! What was great we’re the portions coupled with the meal being 5 courses. Small portions of succulent foods, brought out slowly. We didn’t feel like we were over fed. We never pigged out in the dessert bars and ended up agreeing cruises are the perfect stress free vacations! You just have to temper your appetite!
    And yes, we use lots of sunscreen, wear hats, cover up. Love natural Vitamin D!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Sunshine is seriously the best! Hahaha you sound like a first time cruiser that didn’t know what you were missing out on! I think people like to spread rumors about cruising not being good so that they can keep the cruises to themselves. Once you experience a great cruise there really isn’t anything that can compare! It sounds like you have joined the cruising club now 🙂 My girlfriend has never been on a cruise and she shares a lot of similar beliefs about cruising that you do before you went. Haha, I’m trying to convince her to give a cruise a try! My personal favorite cruise line is Celebrity–nothing even comes close to being as amazing as Celebrity! You’re spot on, as long as you can temper your appetite you should be good to go! Natural Vitamin D is the best! I hope you enjoy many more stress-free cruise vacations and who knows maybe I’ll see you onboard! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We can’t wait to cruise again! We loved our Princess Cruise. We definitely want to pay extra to go on the better lines. Hubby wants to do Panama Canal for 10 days next. But parking our motor home for such an event isn’t so easy….so not sure if we’ll wait until we are no longer full time RVers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Princess is also really nice! The Panama is on my list to do as well! It’s just so hard pulling me away from the beautiful Caribbean islands haha. Yeah, it’d be challenging trying to find a place to park your RV for that long. Hopefully you can find a way to make it work! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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